Sensor Makes Whiskey Bottle Tamper-proof

- Apr 21, 2019-

We will be able to use a smartphone to confirm that a whiskey bottle has not be opened.


Bottles of Johnnie Walker, a famous whiskey brand, will come with a low-cost film-type sensor in 2016. The manufacturer aims to prevent empty bottles from being filled with different whiskey and sold. And consumers will be able to check if a bottle is unopened and an official product.

The film-type sensor was developed based on PE (printed electronics), which realizes functions of electronics by using printing technologies. Specifically, it uses "NFC Opensense," which was developed by Thin Film Electronics (Norway-based venture firm dealing with PE technologies).

With a plastic film on which conductive ink is printed, Thin Film Electronics realized (1) the function to detect whether the film has been cut by opening the bottle and (2) an antenna for communication with a smartphone. Data is exchanged between the bottle and smartphone via NFC (near field communication).

As a circuit for processing NFC signals, a general-purpose silicon (Si) circuit is formed on a plastic film. In other words, a hybrid technology combining PE and Si circuit was employed.

A consumer can confirm that the bottle is unopened by launching a smartphone application developed for the service and holding it near the bottle cap before purchasing or opening it. Manufactures can expect to prevent dishonesty, confirm that shipped products have actually been opened and have the understanding of the end of the supply chain.